Pender’s performance leads Lake Ginny to championship

THE AUSTRALIAN Schools Basketball Championships wrapped over the weekend, with Lake Ginninderra taking out the Men’s Championship Division behind yet another dominant showing from their star player, which helped them claim a 94-83 triumph over Rowville Secondary College.

Although the competition does not give out an MVP award, Cameron Pender was the ABSC’s most consistent performer for the year, and that was well and truly reflected on the big stage, where he took Lake Ginninderra to the title with a massive statline to top off a terrific campaign.

When the buzzer sounded to wrap up the game, his numbers read 40 points (19/28 FG), 13 rebounds (five offensive) and eight assists in a display that would have been impressive for anyone but the 17-year-old.

Having already picked the Canberra Gunners in the NBL1, the natural next step for Pender is the NBL, which is the nation’s destination for the top basketball talents.

He expressed his interest in joining the competition after Lake Ginny’s grand final victory, and his strong play has made him one to watch over the coming years.

Also impressing for the champions was fellow forward Lachlan Smith, who had an impressive double-double of his own with 31 points and 11 rebounds in the deciding match.

For Rowville, Joel Foxwell capped off an impressive tournament with 22 points in the final game of the fixture, and has caught the eye after an impressive VJBL campaign in 2022.

In the women’s competiton, Lake Ginninderra made it two from two with a thrilling 73-72 triumph over Hillcrest Christian College.

Isla Juffermans led the way with a monsterous double-double of 35 points and 29 rebounds in a towering performance that proved to be match-winning.

She had been her side’s strongest performer all tournament, and stood up in the biggest game of them all, shooting 14/29 from the field and showing true leadership. Juffermans also defended the paint with ferocity, swatting three shots in a clutch performance.

In that same game, Layla Cameron was excellent for Hillcrest, saving her best performance for last and almost dragging her side over the line in crunch time.

She finished the match with a team-high 26 points to go with 11 rebounds, and overcame some inaccurate shooting to prove to be a valuable contributor, although Lake Ginninderra performed stronger down the stretch to cap off the perfect tournament.

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